Begin With Praise

Psalm 100:4 instructs us to open our prayers to God with adoration: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.” Jesus’ Model Prayer teaches us to do the same: “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name …”. (Matthew 6:9) In II Kings 19, King Hezekiah gives us an example of this very thing:

Confronted with destruction at the hands of the Assyrians, Hezekiah brought his concerns to the Lord, which is just what we should do. But it is significant, and instructive to us, that he also began his prayer with praise:

Oh YHWH, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth …”

His prayer continued from that point. But he began it with the right focus: on who GOD is, instead of the difficulty of his problem.

This is why scripture encourages us to start our prayers the same way. We will pray a different kind of prayer when we begin it with the realization of just Who it is we are addressing, and what He is able to do.

So let us learn to open our prayers the way the Psalms and Jesus commanded, and the way that Hezekiah modeled for us: “enter His courts with praise” — with a scripture that extols God’s greatness, with a worship song, or with thanksgiving for God’s great acts in the past — and see what a difference it makes in the way you pray!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
This entry was posted in Devotions/Bible Studies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s